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On 24 February, people across Ukraine awoke to the sounds of sirens and explosions as Russia began a military offensive. As war and conflict impact women differently than men, it is essential to recognize and the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian response.
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This year, the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, will take place from 14 to 25 March, under the theme, “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. 
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This International Women’s Day, 8 March, join UN Women and the world in coming together under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, and call for climate action for women, by women.
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Join us on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February, as we call for women’s full and equal access to and participation in science, and celebrate those that are leading action and innovation around the world.
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Dr. Aiymgul Kerimray is an environmentalist and a senior researcher at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. On the occasion of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, UN Women spoke to Kerimray about her research on energy poverty and air quality in urban areas and its gendered impacts.
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Known as Yemen’s “Mother of Detainees,” Laila Lutf AL-Thawr is a prominent human rights activist who has mediated the exchange and release of over 1000 prisoners and detainees. She is also the first woman to hold a top position in a Yemeni political party, the Arab Hope Party. To mark the International Day for Human Rights, Al-Thawr spoke with the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, supported by UN Women, about the challenges women detainees in Yemen face, as well as the threats against women human rights defenders
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Dewi Tjakrawinata is the co-founder of YAPESDI (Yayasan Peduli Sindroma Down Indonesia, or Down Syndrome Care Foundation Indonesia), a Jakarta-based non-profit organization that empowers youths with intellectual disabilities to become self-advocates. To mark 16 Days of Activism, UN Women’s Access to Justice team spoke to Dewi about ending impunity for sexual violence against women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.
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The United Nations is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2021, under the global theme set by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
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Paivi Kannisto is the Chief of Peace and Security at UN Women with more than two decades of experience in international development and peace and security. As the UN Security Council prepares to meet for the Open Debate on women, peace and security on 21 October, Kannisto explains the state of progress and the need to invest in local women peacebuilders.
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Hasina Safi served as Afghanistan's acting minister for women from May of 2020 until August 2021, and as Minister of Information and Culture before that. Ms. Safi has over 20 years’ experience in women development programs working with Afghan civil society organizations international organizations and UN agencies.
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Maryam Aleisa is the founder and Executive Director of Refood, a non-profit company dedicated to reducing and repurposing food waste in Kuwait.
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Julieta Martínez, a 17-year-old Chilean activist, is the founder of the Tremendas platform, a collective of empowered girls and young women that support social impact actions. Martínez participated in an intergenerational dialogue at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris (30 June to 2 July), during which progress and barriers to gender equality were analysed – with a focus on the Beijing Platform for Action, and how it has evolved.
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Karina Gould is Minister of International Development at the Government of Canada, Member of Parliament for Burlington city in Ontario, and Co-Chair of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group. She also represents the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, working to develop catalytic actions and commitments to advance gender equality. Gould’s action priority is ensuring that feminist leaders, movements and organizations are supported to carry out their work without fear of reprisal.
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Céline Bonnaire is the Executive Director of the Kering Foundation. She also represents the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender-based Violence, working to develop catalytic actions and commitments to advance gender equality. Bonnaire prioritizes scaling up comprehensive, accessible and quality services for survivors of gender-based violence against women and girls in all their diversity.
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Mavic Cabrera Balleza is the Founder and CEO of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP). She also represents the Generation Equality Forum Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA), driving action and resources to accelerate progress on the WPS-HA agenda. Balleza prioritizes localizing national action plans on women, peace and security and gender-sensitive humanitarian action to ensure that they respond to the needs of local communities and marginalized groups.
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Kate Hampton is CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). She also represents the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, working to develop catalytic actions and commitments to advance gender equality. Hampton’s action priority is leveraging the potential of self-managed care so that women and girls can take control of their own reproductive health and rights.
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Thelma Kaliu is a young feminist and an active member of the Young Feminist Network of Malawi. She is currently the Project Coordinator of the Spotlight Initiative project under Plan International, Malawi. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thelma attended the launch of the Malawi Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) and was excited about the growth of a movement that was enthusiastically embracing young African women. Supported by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, the largest effort to eliminate violence against women and girls worldwide, the AWLN network comprises over 500 African women across generations and sectors.
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Marina Moscoso T Mendonça is an Urban Management Specialist and Technical Director of Despacio in Colombia, where she supervises projects promoting urban development and sustainable transport in Latin America. Marina is also the Operations Director for Women in Motion, an initiative focused on strengthening female leadership in the transport sector. During COVID-19, social distancing and lockdown measures are affecting the mobility choices of women in Bogota and reinforcing patterns of gender inequality on, and around, public transport.
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Hayat Mirshad is a 32-year-old Lebanese feminist, human rights activist and gender, communications and advocacy expert. As co-founder of the feminist collective FE-MALE in Lebanon, she advocates against discriminatory gender norms and policies and works closely with UN Women’s Men and Women for Gender Equality programme funded by the Government of Sweden. The programme works to change behaviours and social norms for gender equality in the Arab States. Mirshad is also a member of UN Women’s Gender Innovation Agora and was recognized as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2020 for her activism on women’s rights. In this interview, she shares her journey of fighting gender inequity and explains how to rally for wide-reaching and sustainable impact.
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A.H. Monjurul Kabir is the UN Coordination Adviser on Gender Equality and Disability Inclusion. He leads UN Women’s Global Task Team on Disability Inclusion and Intersectionality. In 2019, 55 UN Women offices (in addition to our work through the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women) supported women and girls with disabilities across all areas of work through the provision of normative guidance, integrated policy advice, knowledge management, operational support and capacity development. In this interview, Mr. Kabir talks about the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities and the need for an intersectional approach.